Lexpert Magazine

Jan/Feb 2018

Lexpert magazine features articles and columns on developments in legal practice management, deals and lawsuits of interest in Canada, the law and business issues of interest to legal professionals and businesses that purchase legal services.

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42 LEXPERT MAGAZINE | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 FEATURE AS THEY DID IN 2016, Canadian courts in 2017 displayed a fairly even-handed approach to business cases. Six of our top 10 decisions can be regarded as making life easier for business, with four presenting new challenges for the commu- nity. Tipping the scoresheet ever slightly more to the business side is the fact that the three top-ranked cases and five of the top six — in other words, the most significant ones — favour the business community. BP Canada Energy v. Canada, which topped our list, was an especially triumphant moment for business, as the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) put the kibosh on the Canada Revenue Agency's attempts to force taxpayers to turn over their work- ing papers and internal assessments of perceived exposure to tax risks. In the second-ranked case, Google v. Equustek Solu- tions, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) enunciated a new doctrine that enabled parties wronged by internet behaviour to obtain global orders against innocent third parties. e twin cases of Alberta v. University of Calgary and Lizotte v. Aviva In- surance further enshrined solicitor-client privilege in Canadian jurisprudence by establishing its primacy in the face of statutory production demands. Douez v. Facebook, however, breaks the run of pro-business decisions in the top half of our list. In our fourth-ranked case, the SCC upset the applecart on contractual dispute-resolution provisions by holding that forum selection clauses do not oust TOP 10 BUSINESS DECISIONS OF 2017 PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK Solicitor-client privilege and jurisdiction were prominent in last year's top cases. While these rulings indicate a balanced approach, the most significant ones were pro-business BY JULIUS MELNITZER

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